CAIT supports global ‘MakeAmazonPay’ campaign

It is not just in India that Amazon is facing criticism for its unfair and potentially exploitative practices.

Wherever Amazon operates in the world, it is being criticised for anti-competitive business practices, exploiting its workers, and damaging the climate. In Amazon’s home country — the US — it is at its worst.

Hence, frustrated sections of the US citizens have come together for a campaign #MakeAmazonPay, which has quickly taken a global shape.

In India, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is spearheading a countrywide movement against unethical business practices of Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart and other e-commerce companies.

“We express our support and solidarity with the just cause of the global movement ‘MakeAmazonPay’. Indian traders led by the CAIT are ready to join the campaign, which is supported by warehouse workers, environmental activists and advocates for racial, tax and data justice around the world”, said B.C. Bhartia, National President and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, in a joint statement released here on Tuesday.

Bhartia and Khandelwal said the week beginning from Tuesday to December 7 will be observed by CAIT as “#exposeoffenders week” in which the trade Association of the country will launch aggressive campaign against e-commerce companies who are habitual law offenders and will impress upon the government to bring e-commerce policy with an empowered Regulatory Authority and a fresh Press Note in lieu of Press Note No.2 of FDI policy removing disparities and anomalies of Press Note No.2.

They also informed that during this week the trade associations across the country will take out march in their respective districts of all the states and will hand over an exhaustive memorandum to the District Collectors asking the government to streamline e-commerce business in India.

Both referred to a news story published in The Guardian which has elaborated how Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos are making extraordinary pandemic profits, yet continuing with their exploitative practices. “The Guardian mentions several prominent groups have joined the global movement against Amazon. They include UNI Global Union, Amazon Workers International, International Trade Union Confederation, Athena Coalition, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, Greenpeace, Tax Justice Network among many others.”

It is to be noted that the article also points out how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society and our planet. Amazon takes too much and gives back too little and that is why the campaign is called ‘MakeAmazonPay’.

It is noteworthy that despite a revenue of $960 billion in the past decade, Amazon has just paid $3.4 billion only as taxes. Meanwhile, Amazon’s carbon footprint continues to swell, up 15 per cent from 2018 to 2019 alone. Today, Amazon’s carbon emissions are greater than those of two-thirds of the world’s countries.

Bhartia and Khandelwal pointed out that, “Since it is Amazon’s global practice for several decades, we have no doubt that slowly and gradually, they will implement the same practices in India. With such exploitative practices, companies like Amazon will destroy India’s local business culture and will destabilize the foundation of India’s MSME sector, which is the lifeline of the Indian economy. Therefore, we are opposing the business model of Amazon.”

The CAIT has made an appeal to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal to take note of the captioned Guardian’s piece and initiate all necessary action.